2013 F10 535i MSport - Alpine White / Black Previous
2012 F10 528i MSport - Jet Black / Black
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2005 GS300 - Blue Onyx Pearl / Tan Interior _18 x 8.5 OZ Vela III / LSportline Adjus Susp /JP Rear Spoiler / TTE Front Lip & Grill / L-Tuned Exhaust
2002 GS300 - Blue Onyx Pearl / Tan Interior
Toyota FT-1 Concept Grays out Pebble Beach Concept Lawn
Toyota is dropping a not-so-subtle hint this week that its push for a new sports car as a spiritual successor to the Supra are alive and well.
In an unusual move, the company built a second copy of its FT-1 concept car, this time dressed in gray pain rather than the red it had during the surprise debut last January in Detroit. This time, the interior is revised with more premium-looking materials better suited to the environment and on-lookers at Pebble Beach.
But aside from that, news about the car is sparse at best. Official details about the powertrain and pricing are still unavailable although Toyota is expected to price the production car somewhere around $60,000 when it arrives.
How the FT-1 Concept became a super hero’s fortress
Inside Her Art – With the latest FT-1 Lee and her team showed how a simple color swap can change the personality of a car. Where the first version’s black was more Batcave, this tan interior appears more luxurious.
August 20, 2014
Sellene Lee has plenty of other interests besides cars. And that might be her greatest strength as a creative designer in Calty Color and Trim department.
Lee’s passion isn’t for what’s under a vehicle’s hood, but for what’s between its doors. And her work on the interior of the FT-1 Concept is turning heads.
Yes, there’s an inside to the FT-1. You may not have realized that, considering so much of the car’s buzz surrounds its sleek body. But Lee and her team developed an interior befitting the power of the car’s exterior. And, as the second FT-1 showed us last week, a simple color change can create a completely different concept within a car. It’s still the exact same car, but suddenly, the FT-1 has gone from super hero noir to plush luxury. That’s what Lee had in mind when she switched the interior’s dominant color from black to tan.
Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, and came to the United States after graduating college. Outside of work, she’s turns furniture into art to display in Southern California galleries. She’s also a pretty huge movie buff. And all that went into creating a dynamic interior design for both FT-1 Concepts.
We sat down with Sellene to talk about the FT-1 and its super hero roots.
How did the FT-1’s powerful interior come about?
Each team, after the research, comes up with a key story for the whole project. For my team, I researched and came up with my own inspiration for color and trim based on super heroes. Mostly when I get my inspiration, it’s spontaneous. The new Superman poster for “Man of Steel” just grabbed my eye. I thought it was interesting to see how super hero costumes evolved over time. That was the seed. After that I researched the oldest super hero costumes and just took them as inspiration.
So Superman’s history was the inspiration for the original concept?
Yes! Before, the super hero costume was color-coded tights. It was interesting to see the “Man of Steel” poster. It’s very monotone, not just blue and red anymore. And you have all these intricate details. It’s a very interesting evolution of the Superman costume. We kept talking about the FT-1 interior being like a superhero suit that optimized the functionality of the driver. So I thought, ‘If I take the inspiration from the new super hero costume, I can apply it to the color theme of the FT-1.’
How does the super hero theme mesh with the rest of the interior?
The super hero costume is about optimizing the super heroes. The original color scheme is very monotone, black with a touch of red with an accent function. We wanted the driver’s seat to be comfortable so we used a soft, natural grain leather for where the driver touches with his body. The rest, we wanted to make it very functional.
Showing Off – One of Lee’s proudest moments at Toyota was the crowd’s reaction at the FT-1’s January debut in Detroit.
What are the interior differences between the first FT-1 Concept and the one unveiled last week?
The first version is very raw, masculine and sporty. But just by changing the color, you can see how much the product can change in perception. The color makes the product more premium. We were thinking maybe some people really want this sporty car, but they’re more comfortable with an upscale image. So we tried to make this version upscale but with a minimum amount of changes.
What was your favorite part of the FT-1 design process?
It was really fun for me because it was the first time all of our team members worked together in the research phase. Designing a car is different from designing furniture or something smaller scale. In order to make one car, you need a lot of different talents working together. So no one can be the product’s sole owner. I don’t have an automotive design background, so I brought a different perspective. I really enjoyed working with and learning from so many car enthusiasts. It was a really fun collaboration.
Do your other interests help you in your job?
My background is product design, so I have always been into smaller-scale design. But the auto industry wants a fresh perspective, and my background helps me infuse fresh ideas. I love design and art and music. Those different perspectives in the design world are helping me do this job now.
So far, Toyota has launched two real-life examples of the FT-1 Concept. The original is finished in a bright shade of red while a stunning Graphite Silver example debuted at Monterey Car Week 2014 alongside the virtual Vision Gran Turismo concept. Previous rumours indicated that those two latter cars would indeed come to fruition while also indicating that a real track-only variant could arrive.
While it remains to be seen, such a car could be created to compete in Japan’s Super GT500 series against cars like the RC-F GT500 and Honda NSX Concept racer. To give us an idea of how such a car could look, Hansen Art has created the following rendering.
Most notably, the car has been fitted with a massive carbon fibre rear spoiler as well as a set of racing wheels and slick Pirelli P Zero tyres. The car also features a large rear diffuser, side skirts and front splitter.
Overall, the Toyota FT-1 features the function-sculpting design language. This has resulted in a curved, muscular and expressive body the clearly seems to have been shaped to be as fluid and flowing as possible. Inlets, ducts, and vents are features of the exterior design that help reinforce its race–ready nature with elements of purposeful airflow management designed to keep the car at its optimum temperature. At higher speeds a retractable rear wing deploys and tilts generating yet more downforce and helping to keep the car planted.
The result of the radical design means that the FT-1 is not only a very dynamic shape but one that is a feast for the eyes, a real stunner that commands attention and further inspection. Alex Shen, Calty’s Studio Chief Designer echoed this when saying at the car’s launch, “Our team was heavily influenced by Toyota’s sports car past, especially Celica and Supra, and we sought to capture some of that history. It is an aggressive, track-focused sports car concept with a presence that has been amplified for shock and awe.”